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Accelerating Takeoff Using Takeoff Pads

In Enterprise Estimating, there are a number of features that can assist in accelerating takeoff. The approach of specification-based takeoff used in Enterprise Estimating offers tremendous advantages in speed on its own, but there is a way to further increase speed of takeoff of either items or assemblies and that is by exploiting the graphical approach of on-screen takeoff using on-screen takeoff pads. This article examines that approach in detail.

Takeoff Using the Database View

In Enterprise Estimating, there are number of methods to performing takeoff. A couple of them involve using the Database or the Takeoff Pad tabs. When the Database tab is selected, a folder view of item and assembly categories appears. To perform takeoff, a user simply browses the folder tree until the desired item or assembly is found. For example, to takeoff a 1/2" emt conduit a user browses the folder tree through Global Items> Conduit and Raceways>Conduit Systems>Conduits folders until the descriptions appear. Then double click the Conduit — EMT item to launch the takeoff (see Figure 1).

Figure 1

Figure 1

Takeoff Using the Takeoff Pads

The second approach utilizes takeoff pads which are an array of buttons labeled with icons, descriptions, or numbers. These buttons represent direct links to items and assemblies, numbers, and functions. There are many available takeoff pads to choose from and each can be fully customized to suit a user’s needs. The on-screen graphical approach to takeoff offers a much faster process to performing takeoff especially when coupled with the specification-driven functionality over the selection process used in the folder view. Let us look at how we can perform branch wiring takeoff using a specification driven takeoff pad.

To perform a specification-based branch wiring takeoff using a takeoff pad:

  1. Ensure that the desired specification (in this example we are using Branch —EMT Steel Compression —THHN specification) has been copied to the job and is selected from the Specification breakdown category.
  2. In addition to setting other breakdown categories, ensure the System breakdown is set to Branch Wiring (see Figure 2).

    Figure 2
    Figure 2
     

  3. Load the desired Takeoff Pad from On-screen drop-down list (see Figure 3). Once it is loaded, it will appear in the panel and ready for use.

    Figure 3
    Figure 3

    In the next steps, we’ll take off a run of 3/4" EMT conduit with 3 -#12 THHN conductors and 1 -#12 ground wire using a specification-driven assembly from the takeoff pad as well as select variables and quantities of items in the assemblies.

  4. In the next step we’ll select the assembly with steel boxes by clicking the button labeled Conduit w/ Square Steel Boxes (see Figure 4). This launches the assembly and a list of value fields appears in the Audit Trail area.

    Figure 4
    Figure 4
     

  5. The first value that is required is the conduit size which we can address by clicking the button labeled with 3/4" size (see Figure 5).

    Figure 5
    Figure 5
     

  6. The next value is the wire size which we can select by clicking the button labeled #12 just to the right.
  7. The next value is the # of wires which we can set by selecting the button labeled 3 Wires.
  8. Ground size is the next value which we can set by clicking the button labeled #12.
  9. The next three values are where we define the makeup percentage, conduit length and number of segments in the run (segments between boxes). We can use the number buttons on the takeoff pad to enter the desired numbers and complete each entry by clicking the enter button. The numbers we have entered are 10%, 150 feet for conduit length and 7 segments (see figure 6).

    Figure 6
    Figure 6
     

  10. Once we have satisfied all the variables, we can add a junction box by clicking the button labeled Junction Box. This action not only adds the junction box but also adds associated items to complete a junction box assembly such as covers, fasteners and hangers. The quantity of junction boxes and associated items will be established using the # of segments defined during the takeoff of conduit. The entire list of items can be viewed in the details screen within the Audit Trail (see Figure 7). The list will include conduit, wire, boxes, fasteners, hangers and associated items.

    Figure 7
    Figure 7

Associating a Takeoff Pad to a System

We have seen how effective a graphical approach to takeoff can be but there is a way to further enhance the speed of takeoff using takeoff pads and that is to configure the program to automatically launch a takeoff pad when certain breakdowns are selected.

To achieve this function we’ll need to associate a takeoff pad to a specific system. To demonstrate this concept, we’ll configure a branch-wiring takeoff pad to automatically launch when a branch wiring breakdown is selected.

To enable the branch wiring takeoff pad to launch automatically when the branch wiring system breakdown is selected, we need to:

  1. Click the System button in the breakdown categories (see figure 8).

    Figure 8
    Figure 8
     

  2. Once the system definition dialog box opens, click the ellipsis in the On-screen pad field. The Select Takeoff Pad dialog appears. Select the Branch — Spec takeoff pad and click Ok (see figure 9 and 10).

    Figure 9
    Figure 9

    Figure 10
    Figure 10
     

  3. The Branch— Spec on-screen pad description will now appear in the field. To complete this action click the Close button (see figure 11).

    Figure 11
    Figure 11

With this action completed, the Branch —Wiring Takeoff Pad will now automatically launch whenever the branch wiring system breakdown is selected at time of takeoff.